If you think you've had a rough time naming your baby, consider this: a 15-year-old in Iceland is in a major battle with the government right now over the name her mom gave her at birth. Turns out Blaer Bjarkardottir's momforgot to check with the government before she named her daughter. This kid has lived for 15 years with an illegal name!
Now ... just imagine living in a place where the government has a say in naming your kid. Still think baby naming is hard in America?
Apparently in Iceland there's a Personal Names Register, a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names. The government has decided these 3,500 monikers all fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules and that officials maintain will protect children from embarrassment. Blaer, by the way, isn't on it -- hence the teenager's battle with the government.
Anyone else thinking what I'm thinking?
Holy Big Brother, Batman! I can't imagine letting some pencil pusher tell me what I should name my own flesh and blood, the person who grew inside of MY stomach. My husband and I put days and days into coming up with the name that felt just right for our daughter, and we did it alone -- we didn't even let family or friends weigh in, people who actually KNOW us.
On the other hand ... well I have a feeling neither Lemonjello nor Orangejello would make the cut. Or Pilot Inspektor or Bronx Mowgli for that matter. That part of me that has opened a newspaper and wondered "what jackass did that to their kid" is actually tempted to say "way to go Iceland!"
But then I look at Blaer, which is a perfectly lovely name (albeit with a slightly strange spelling ... but I'm not Icelandic), and I'm relieved I live in the good old US of A. We may not have the ease of a short list of baby names to choose from. But then again, we are free to actually name our kids what WE want to name them.
Would you be OK with a government list of approved baby names?
Image via jetsandzeppelins/Flickr